By Mark Jones
DUBLIN — It may only have been a five-mile road race, but Sonia O’Sullivan’s victory in Balmoral, Scotland, last weekend may yet turn out to be an important step on the way to the Sydney Olympics in September.
The winning time of 24 minutes and 50 seconds might have short of the world best for the distance, and runner-up Tegla Laroupe, was surely feeling the after effects of her success at the London Marathon, but O’Sullivan still looked exceptionally strong throughout the race.
"The purpose of the race was not to claim a record but merely to find out where I’m at at this early stage of the season," she said afterward. "I believe these are the kind of races I should be running in April and May and I’m looking at two more of the same type before I start racing on the track."
O’Sullivan was understandably upbeat following a disappointing performance at the recent World cross country championships in Portugal. Running the first mile in 4:51, the outcome at Balmoral was never in doubt.
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